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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Black unity needed for serious Black power

A. Peter Bailey / January 28, 2022

In 1992, I included the following two quotes in columns written for the Richmond Free Press, focusing on the critical need for Black organizations and institutions to become unified if they want to more effectively promote and protect the group interests of our people in this country.

The first quote stated that “Black fraternal, civic and social organizations should act on suggestions made in the October 1919 issue of the People’s Pilot. Noting the potential power of Black organizations, the Richmond, Virginia-based paper said that ‘The day has come for us to use that power. In every Negro Society at this time, there should be an hour set aside for real, sensible, constructive work so that we can get the best results out of our splendid organizations all over the country. Instead of the old way and old things, we should have a leading man or woman read a prepared paper on civics, education, the ballot, health, the state government, the church, the suffrage or some other outstanding momentous questions of the hour. We should make these organizations our schoolrooms during these trying times….” My only problem is economics was left out of their agenda. Otherwise, their position is as needed in 2022 as it was in 1919.

A second 1992 column included the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taken from his 1967 book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Dr. King stated that “We must utilize the community action groups and training centers now proliferating in some slum areas to create not nearly an electorate but a conscious, alert and informed people who know their direction and whose collective wisdom and vitality commands respect. Power is not the White man’s birthright; it will not be legislated for us and delivered in neat government packages. It is a social force any group can utilize by accumulating its elements in a planned, deliberate campaign to organize it under its own control.”

As we witness what is happening today, it becomes obvious that the positions advocated by the Richmond Pilot and Dr. King and other serious Black folks, including Marcus Garvey, Brother Malcolm, Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. C. Delores Tucker, must be acted on if we are to ever move from having a limited degree of Black influence to a serious degree of Black Power. I will repeat Dr. King’s position which stated, “It (power) is a social force any group can utilize by accumulating its elements in a planned, deliberate campaign to organize it under its own control.”

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